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One thing people often over look is how Adam manipulated and gaslight Blake in that scene making her feel unsure of herself and what she thought and bringing up her parents because he knew it would effect Blake emotionally, and i believe Adam is irredeemable at this point, he crossed that line a long time ago; for as long as Blake knew him he had been abusive, we get some more info on Adam and Blake’s past in the DC comics; we see them meet and Blake is only at most 12 and Adam around 18 as we know Ghira stepped down 5 years ago when Blake was 17 and in the comic he’s still the leader, when you realise that, it makes Adams character just that bit more disturbing, Blake was instantly infatuated by him and he used that to gain her trust and eventually isolate her as she left her family behind to follow Adam in the white fang, so she felt she couldn’t go back home made her believe her parents would hate her, so she had to rely on him.
Also Adams line “its good to know I’ve still got you” always makes me uncomfortable, the way he says it and the line itself seems so possessive over Blake and from what we saw in volume 3 he is “all i want is you Blake”
also i feel if Adam was to ever get redeemed it would be a bit of a spit in the face to Blake and Yang, like yeahhh he abused you for years and yeahhh he cut of your arm and attempted to murder you and left them both with life long lasting trauma but its f i n e he good now
The scene where we see with Adam talking to Blake actually takes place moments before the Black Trailer.
Notice How Adam goes from “its time we get what we deserve” at the beginning to “its time I get what I deserve” near the end. He did want to help the Faunas originally but along the way his need to help the Faunas became self serving and about him exacting revenge and those he perceived wronged him. We can partially blame Sienna for this because of her lionizing his actions giving making him believe he’s justified in everything he does. Adam is a classic case of the abused becoming an abuser and just like Blake said in volume 4. Adam has become the embodiment is spite.
He is not a bad character he is a psycho. That’s the point. He don’t need motivation, he don’t need to be rational because he is Hate. People made him like that and now he is hurting everyone just because.
That’s the lesson, folks. Don’t make peoples go crazy. After all bomb receipt is in the Wikipedia.
If it didn’t seem clear during Adam’s conversation with Blake, he was manipulating her. He used Blake’s decision to not leave the White Fang with her parents against her, putting Blake on the defensive and deflecting her attention away from his wrong doing. This is what I believe is a type of gaslighting and it added a new layer to my contempt for Adam.
I think people say that Adam has been “ruined” because he turned out to be something that he isn’t. People thought he was going to be this revolutionary, an opposite to Blake’s goal of peace. But now people are writing him off as a rabid yandere ex-boyfriend. Personally, I don’t believe the issue to be so black and white.
Adam was always emotionally manipulative towards Blake. That “I get scared when I think you don’t believe in me” was just him controlling her. Not that he’d see it that way, but it was how Adam kept her under his thumb.
Adam’s song is called ‘Lionized,’ and it’s perfect as an explanation of what has happened to him. His exact backstory is still shrouded in mystery, but my theory is that he was basically born a slave in an SDC Dust mine, and abused there. It was there that he learned that those who have power over others control them, and he wanted control over his life. Either he lashed out and escaped, or Ghira and Kali came and basically bought freedom for a bunch of Faunus from the SDC. Either way, Adam was found by the pacifistic White Fang, and trained to protect himself and others. But being bought and having his life changed by another might have rubbed him the wrong way, another demonstration of power.
The caravan scene is especially interesting as it’s the first time we’re shown there being conflict between Ghira’s way of operating the White Fang and Sienna’s more militaristic approach. She literally lionizes Adam, and the grunts accompanying them voice their approval. In one moment Adam goes from having doubts about killing to the notion that he can kill if it’s for the ‘right’ cause, such as protecting other Faunus.
So we have other fights, where it is increasingly obvious that Adam is enjoying terrorizing and killing humans. And while it is awesome to see more of Ilia, and especially awesome to see Sienna fight, it’s a point of no return for Adam: he has come to realize that as long as he can justify it as defence or an accident, he can kill the humans he hates. And he only has to justify himself to Blake now, because Sienna is giving him increasing amounts of power. Only thing he doesn’t like about that is that since the power came from her, she can also take it away…
So he takes her life away instead.
And the final scene is Adam stumbling away after the Battle of Haven. Unfortunately, as we now know from the Volume 6 premiere, he had extra masks.
I believe Adam is all about power. We see Sienna giving him more credit and more power throughout this short, but we also see him manipulating Blake and her feelings so she’ll stay under his control for longer. But as we know, she stops believing his rationalizations when he tries to blow up the SDC train with the crew aboard, and breaks away. And he lets her go, believing she would come crawling back to him eventually, as he put it at Haven.
But she didn’t. Blake pretty much stating at the end of Volume 5 that she’s there for Haven, and he doesn’t matter, is her shaking out of Adam’s grip, and almost completely breaking free. Unfortunately again, the Volume 6 premiere shows us that she still fears his pursuit. She knows how spiteful Adam is, so she knows he’ll come after her eventually.
Because Adam can’t stand others having more power than him, and especially if that power is OVER him.
Couldn’t have put it better myself. A lot of people mistakenly think he’s been set up for a redemption arc but thats simply not true. He was always being set up as an obstacle for Blake (and later Yang) to overcome on their journey growing into adults, and becoming real huntresses.
That’s an incredible non-spoiler essay! Well said, well said! As for a little bit of extra lore on Adam, we do have his Amity Arena bio and the DC comics.
That scene with Blake always makes me gag. Textbook abusive emotional manipulation.
That said, I have some thoughts on why people have such mixed opinions on Adam. My theory on villains is that there are essentially two main types: the grey villain and the force of nature villain. (ignore a third archetype, “speedbumps”, which are things like grim that just exist to make the girls look cool)
A grey villain is someone with motivations that happen to conflict with the protagonist, and maybe you’re not meant to sympathize with them, but you at least can understand them, maybe even feel sorry for them. Raven and Lionheart are pretty good examples. At the end of the day, though, they’re playing by the same rules as the protagonist and can be beaten purely with external conflict between the parties (ie fists or words). The primary goal is to thicken the plot.
A force of nature is like a tornado or a flood. It cannot be reasoned with, it won’t go away by just being punched in the face. The characters must go through shades of grey and/or grow to overcome them. Essentially the conflict is internal to the protagonist, and the primary goal is protagonist character development, not plot. Cardin is a prime example of this archetype.
Adam has symptoms of a grey villain, so people are looking for grey characteristics, but IMO, he’s a force of nature full stop. He’s a tumor in Blake and Yang’s minds, and he exists to force our girls to grow, not to make the conflict more complex. He doesn’t need to be a fully three dimensional character, just like the biblical flood didn’t need more reason to happen besides “humans bad”
tl;dr, i hate Adam’s guts, i think he’s a good antagonist, and i think that’s the point, thank u for coming to my ted talk
As somebody who was also in an abusive relationship in the past the scene between Blake and Adam has always made me furious. The gas-lighting is something I’m all to familiar with and this scene depicted it very well which is a good thing. One of the reasons Blake is so high up on my favorite characters list is because of this very thing. It allows me to connect with her better and understand her on a mental/emotional level.